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May 29, 2015

Gilles Simon


G. SIMON/N. Mahut
6-2, 6-7, 6-7, 6-3, 6-1

THE MODERATOR: Questions in French.

Q. Once again, you won this match in five sets. I guess it helps you build confidence.
GILLES SIMON: Why "once again" (smiling)?

Q. Because it's very often that you win in five sets.
GILLES SIMON: Well, I won some; I lost some. But I won this one. That gives me the opportunity of going one more round in this tournament.

Q. So he was annoying?
GILLES SIMON: No, I was annoying to myself, really. He played the match he had to play. Now, each time I didn't play my best he was very present. He didn't make my life easy. I had set points. He saved many of them. And as long as I could not release all my shots, then he showed me that he was very much present and that he was willing to win. So he didn't make my life easy.

Q. We saw you being annoyed at your first serve. Was it a key for your success?
GILLES SIMON: No, but wasn't very helpful to serve that badly. Yet I think I had 30% of my first serves in the first set, and yet I won 6-3. I missed quite a few of my serves, although they were not all that good. And on the third and fourth set, things were balanced out. But honestly, I never managed to play all that well except in the fourth and in the fifth, and you can see there is a difference. I didn't serve any better during the fifth set, but I hit the ball with more power.

Q. Nicolas said that he would try and hide his intentions during the game. Did he surprise you? Did he manage to get to the net when you were not expecting that?
GILLES SIMON: Well, this is what he managed to do well today. When he understood that I was nervous and that I couldn't find my pace, then he was very good at maintaining this kind of awkward pace with high balls, flat balls. And in the fifth set his tactics no longer worked because I was back in the game. So I put myself in that position. I was up one set, one break, and I played a very poor point, and then he came back. In the third set there was no break. I can't remember. There wasn't, was there? No. There wasn't. So I was returning his serve. He was not just serving aces, but I was staying on the baseline and I couldn't find a way to move in the court.

Q. One question about the tournament. You're No. 1 in France, which many French people are not aware of, but does this ranking put some pressure on your shoulders? As you're not so much in the media as Monfils and Tsonga, is it a relief for you?
GILLES SIMON: Well, I will answer to both of your questions at the same time: I don't give a damn. It has no impact whatsoever on what I do. I prepare. It's an important tournament for me. I want to play well. As for the rest, I don't care.

Q. Next round is Stan. He can play very well on clay. He had a difficult beginning of season for various reasons, including personal reasons. So what are you going to do? What's the key to this match?
GILLES SIMON: He can play very well everywhere, and that's his strength. When he plays well, you'd better be ready. He has very strong shots. He has a beautiful serve. We know how good a player can be on a court. He's a player I have known for quite a long time now, so I know exactly what to expect. I know what he can do well on a court, what he can do less well. So I'll try to play that match using my strength and my strong shots.

Q. Two years ago you were pretty close to what would have been the most beautiful win in your career against Federer. You sometimes were very close to winning big matches in Grand Slams. Will this upcoming match be a high point in your career, be the win that you are still lacking?
GILLES SIMON: These are pretty surprising questions you have. I think it's going to be a difficult match to win against Stan. It's going to be a big match. I will focus on that. As for the rest, I'm not very much interested. I know that this is a very strong player and I know that I need to win, so we will see that on Sunday. I will give it my best. And as for the rest, incidents, career, whatever, I don't care.

Q. Would you say that as time goes by, people understand better what you do on the court, the way you play, with long rallies?
GILLES SIMON: Are you a psychologist? Are you a shrink? Or is there one in the room? (Laughter.) How can I answer this question? Because, anyway, there were too many questions in your question. But once again, I think you want to make things overly complex. When I get on a court, I try and do my best, period. So keep it simple. There are players who try and impose their games and play their game, whatever the opponent. They want to impose their own style. You have other players that would adapt a bit more. I'm one of them. I don't feel that what I did today was overly complicated. All I try and do is to use my strength and use the weaknesses of my opponents perhaps a bit more than other players. That's what I try and do.

Q. You said you felt a bit nervous in the second set when he came back. Everything was going fine. How would you explain this nervousness? Is it because of your lack of success on clay so far this season?
GILLES SIMON: No, I don't think that's the appropriate approach. I was nervous right from the beginning, and the score does not necessarily reflect my mindset. There was a lot going on in my head during that match, and it was difficult to be really focused. When I managed to be focused, everything was more clear on the court. But the lack of matches on clay, I don't think that had any importance. I played two good matches here, and for this one, I was a bit nervous when I walked on the court. That's all.

Q. Has the final in the Davis Cup in Lille changed anything in the relationships French players have with Swiss players?
GILLES SIMON: No. No. Again, these are players we have known for quite a long time now. So I will play Stan next round. He knows what I think about him. We have known each other for quite a while. I have a huge respect for everything he did last season. It was a huge season for him. Once again, it's going to be a very difficult match for me tomorrow. I'll keep it simple. I played him once already here. I lost in five sets. I hope this time I win.
FastScripts Transcript by ASAP Sports
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